Yesterday I jumped into the pool with my non water proof watch on. My heart sank. Not because it was a fancy expensive watch or anything but because of what it represented. You see one day several months ago, as I was walking across the parking lot on my way to teach a class, my watch fell from my wrist and the face shattered on the concrete. It was a $10 watch from Walmart so it shouldn’t have been a big deal… but it was.
I have come to see my watch as something of a measure of how I am doing in my life. Just a few days before the shattering of this important symbol, my room mate commented to me on the fact that I actually wear my watch now, which is something that I have never done. “I think its symbolic” she said. “You seem settled and happy with your life, you seem like you are living in the moment. It’s like you are really HERE”
As a little girl I thought that life revolved around being married, around having children and a family. I thought that life wouldn’t start until the day I crossed the threshold. I found myself always wishing time away and longing for what I didn’t have.
One of my favorite authors,Elizabeth Elliot left me with a quote that has changed my life. She said, “let not your longing slay your passion for living.” I have tried to live by that, not always successfully, but I am doing better. At that moment my life was great, I loved my job, I was in school doing well, I had a boyfriend I was crazy about and life seemed good. I expected a proposal any day.
Then the watch shattered.
I looked at the jagged lines crisscrossing the face and I laughed, although there was something inside me that wondered if I should cry.
The next day my boyfriend of a year and a half, and I went for a walk to talk. I stood on a trail on the side of the mountain with my back turned to him and sobbed as he explained to me that he just couldn’t marry me. Apparently for him it just wasn’t there enough for him to marry me. CRACK…
That weekend, perhaps not thinking as clearly as I should have I made other decisions that I would almost instantly regret and it made the shattering complete.
Then one night I came home to find a gift box on my bed. It was a new watch with a note from my roommate that simply said. “Be HERE.” She might as well have reminded me of my motto to “Let not my longing slay my passion for living.”
That’s why when I looked at the water droplets on the face of the watch and the hands that stood still, waiting…just like me. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away so I just left it on the counter in my bathroom. Today when I picked it up, the hands had started moving again. Somehow my resilient little watch had found a way to keep going.
Life moves on you just pickup the pieces and hold on to a belief that time will heal a broken heart.